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Your Pathway into Anaesthetics training in North Queensland

Entry Requirements

  • General medical registration
  • Completion of 52 weeks of prevocational medical education and training (PMET)
  • Citizen of Australia or New Zealand, or a permanent resident of Australia
  • Registered to practice with the Medical Board of Australia with general registration  without restrictions or undertaking which would prevent you performing the duties of an anaesthetic registrar
  • Registered or eligible for registration with Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA)
  • Be free of chemical dependence and other health related conditions conditions preventing the applicant performing the duties of an Anaesthetic Registrar
  • Refer to the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists for further information on selection and/or eligibility
  • Note, if applicant is not registered with AHPRA or MCNZ, additional documentation is required. Documentation must be certified copies of:
    • The identity page of the applicant’s passport or birth certificate
    • The applicant’s primary medical qualification.
    • The applicant’s certificate of current medical registration.

Total Training Time

Total: 5 years (full-time)

  •  6 months (26 weeks*, full-time) introductory training (IT)
  • 18 months (78 weeks*, full-time) basic training (BT)
  • 24 months (104 weeks*, full-time) advanced training (AT)
  • 12 months (52 weeks*, full-time) provisional fellowship training (PFT)

* Includes leave

How To Apply

In Queensland, there are four accredited rotations. These are overseen by the Queensland Anaesthetic Rotational Training Scheme (QARTS, pronounced ‘quartz’)

QARTS is a sponsored body providing advice to employing organisations, and administers the selection and placement of training registrars in anaesthesia throughout Queensland, in conjunction with Queensland Health and the Directors of Anaesthesia Group in accredited training hospitals.

The hospitals accepting applications in our region are within the Northern rotation: Townsville University HospitalCairns Hospital and Mackay Base Hospital. 

Applications for QARTS are made via the Queensland Health RMO Campaign.

For more information on application details, recruitment dates and eligibility, please see the QARTS page on the Queensland Health website.

If you’re a Specialist International Medical Graduate and hold a 'Report 1,' don’t apply to QARTS. Instead, contact the hospital department Directors or SOTs directly.

Step By Step Educational Path

The ANZCA training program is divided into four periods: introductory, basic, advanced and provisional fellowship training. During the first three of these training periods the ANZCA Clinical Fundamentals are defined in the core study units. These core study units are constructed to develop core capabilities, providing the foundation for specialised practice during provisional fellowship training. Each core study unit is designed to develop a trainee’s competence toward a consultant level of practice.

Basic Training

  • Miniumum of 78 weeks (including a maximum of 16 weeks leave for introductory training and basic training).
  • Progress in the clinical fundamentals such that the trainee is able to assess and optimise patients with common medical conditions, recognise and initiate engagement of common crises, utilise diverse airway management techniques and ventilation strategies, mange acute pain, and perform spinal and epidural blocks supports this goal.

Advanced Training

  • Minimum of 104 weeks (including maximum of 16 weeks leave). The primary goal of advanced training is for the trainee to anaesthetise safely ASA 1-4 patients having complex procedures with distant supervision
  • Progress in the clinical fundamentals such that the trainee is able to assess and optimise patients with significant co-morbidities, manage perioperative crises, resuscitation and trauma, utilise advanced airway management techniques and ventilation strategies, manage complex acute pain, and perform challenging spinal, epidural and other regional blocks supports this goal.
  • The trainee will be able to assume a leadership role in multidisciplinary teams when required, and demonstrate a commitment to the safe and ethical care of patients and others in the dynamic and complex environments in which they work.

Provisional fellowship trianing

  • Minimum of 52 weeks (including a maximum of eight weeks leave)
  • During provisional fellowship training Fellows will continue to develop across all ANZCA Roles in Practice, refining their capability to provide quality patient care. The primary goal of this training period is for trainees to demonstrate maturity in identifying and anticipating their learning needs and seeking appropriate opportunities to enhance their abilities, acknowledging their ongoing personal responsibility to maintain and improve their practice. Upon completion of this training period, Trainees are expected to demonstrate efficient and effective work practice at a consultant level, exhibiting broader leadership skills and a commitment to upholding the ethical and professional standards of the specialty.

Refer to ANZCA Anaesthesia training program and the ANZCA Handbook for Training for more detailed information. 

Application Deadline

Key dates for application submission, assessment and selection rounds are available on the Queensland Health Recruitment Campaign website for application through the RMO campaign.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the scope of anaesthesia practice?

Anaesthetists rely on a unique set of clinical skills and an extensive knowledge of physiology and pharmacology to provide appropriate anaesthesia and sedation for patients undergoing surgery and other medical procedures. Anaesthetists also administer airway management, resuscitate acutely unwell patients, and provide pain management for patients.

Specialist anaesthetists work across the full scope of the practice, performing anaesthesia for surgical and non-surgical procedures, perioperative/periprocedural care and management; assessment and management of patients requiring analgesia, critical/intensive care, and patients in emergency and trauma situations (including resuscitation and life support).

Anaesthetists work within both public and private sectors, providing care for patients of all ages. Perhaps more than any other specialty, anaesthetists work as members of a team, enabling and facilitating care by other health professionals.

Why consider a career in anaesthesia?

Anaesthesia is one of the most rewarding and fascinating fields of medicine you can specialise in as a medical graduate. It’s a diverse and dynamic discipline, offering a wide range of research and sub-specialist study opportunities.

Anaesthetists are among the most highly regarded and intensively trained specialist doctors on the planet. In Australia and New Zealand, we study for a minimum of 12 years to gain the advanced physiological and pharmacological knowledge we need to keep patients pain free, immobile, and in a carefully controlled state of unconsciousness during complex surgery.

Where can I train to be an Anaesthetist?

ANZCA is the only organisation accredited by the AMC and the MCNZ to provide training, assessment, and the continuing professional development of anaesthetists in Australia and New Zealand. Their anaesthesia training program is one of the most rigorous and highly regarded in the world, and takes a minimum of five years to complete.

What can I expect as an Anaesthetic trainee?

The ANZCA training curriculum prepares the trainee to the full scope of practice required by a specialist anaesthetist in a general hospital setting. This includes breadth and depth of knowledge alongside the professional behaviours required to provide quality patient care.

What abilities are important in this specialty?

  • Compassion
  • Confidence
  • Cultural competency
  • Clarity of mind
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Integrity, punctuality and reliability and a high standard of professional conduct

How many applicants get selected per year?

The number of applicants selected per year varies each year. However, as a rough guide, in 2022 there were 259 eligible applications received, with 35 applicants selected.

In Australia, there are currently 4,942 active anaesthesia specialists. In Queensland, there are 1,056 specialists and 313 active trainees.

Can I get recognition for my previous work experience and/or learning?

If you have previous experience in anaesthesia or a related specialty, you may be able to accredit some of these experiences towards your training. Once you are a trainee, you can apply for recognition of prior learning (RPL). If your prior learning is accepted, you will be exempted from some of the components of the ANZCA Training Program. For possible training credits you may receive, please see the ANZCA Handbook for Training.  

What is it like living in North Queensland?

The northern Queensland region offers a well-balanced mix of quality education and a relaxed or adventurous lifestyle, depending on your preference. With the convenience of cities close by, but the benefit of reasonable housing costs and vast landscapes a stone’s throw away, Northern Queensland is hard to beat.

Each regional centre is small enough to escape the hustle and bustle of big city life, but large enough to boast a range of facilities for socialising and entertainment. You can make the most of the great outdoors through rainforest hikes, mountain biking and snorkelling or scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef. Living and working in Northern Queensland offers a great balance for all ages and stages, with short commute times putting more hours back into your workday, and plenty to explore on the weekends.

Networking and industry social opportunities are to be found in the tightknit hospital and health communities. Our vision is to improve the health of communities in the northern Queensland region by addressing the shortage of doctors in the area, a passion which unites the students, interns, junior doctors, and specialists training and working here.

Our training region ensure trainees have access to a wide range of hospital and health settings of varying sizes and capabilities offering diverse case load and case mix. These training areas include the following health service areas: Cairns, Central West, Mackay, North West, Torres and Cape, and Townsville.


Disclaimer: The information provided on this website aims to assist medical students and doctors in training with medical career planning. While every effort has been made to ensure the information is current and accurate, all details should be verified through the relevant Specialist College.

NQRTH is an initiative of the Australian Government's Integrated Rural Training Pipeline (IRTP) and is facilitated by James Cook University in partnership with public and private hospitals, Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC), health services, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) and GP clinics.

Cairns region
(07) 4226 8187

Central West region
(07) 4764 1547

Mackay region
(07) 4885 7122

North West region
(07) 4764 1547

Torres and Cape region
(07) 4095 6103

Townsville region
(07) 4781 3424